Medicine Ball Exercises

Jessica Matthews, ACE Continuing Education Coordinator: Medicine ball is a versatile and portable tool which can be used to add challenge and variety to your current exercise program. Today, we’ll be showing variations of a few traditional exercises that you may already be familiar with. If you’re not familiar with these exercises, be sure to visit the ACE exercise library for more details. If you’re new to medicine ball training, it’s crucial to determine a weight that’s appropriate for you, as oftentimes people will select a weight that’s too heavy, and thereby will compromise form. Today, Tracy will be using a 4-pound medicine ball to add challenge, yet maintain the integrity of each exercise. An ACE-certified trainer can help you determine a weight that’s appropriate for you and in line with your fitness goals. Let’s get started. The first exercise that Tracy’s performing is a squat. As we can see here with the first variation, Tracy’s performing a medicine ball press as she squats down, pressing the hips back, keeping the core engaged, as she pushes the medicine ball out in front of her. The next variation we’ll have Tracy do is actually change that press to overhead. So, again, keeping that core engagement, she’ll sit back, pressing the hips back as the medicine ball extends over the head, pressing upward. Here, we’re targeting, just like with the forward press, the chest, the shoulders, and the triceps. One final variation that Tracy can perform with the squat is taking it to an overhead triceps extension. So, as she squats down, she’ll begin with the medicine ball overhead, bend at the elbows, and extend up. This exercise targets the triceps; the back of the upper arm. The next exercise Tracy’s demonstrating is the forward lunge. As you can see here, Tracy’s added a medicine ball rotation to further target the core. The beginning progression of this is to begin with the arms in tight, elbows to the sides of the body, as she rotates. She rotates to the right when she leads with her right leg, and then rotates to the left when she’s leading with her left leg. A further progression of this is to increase the lever length by extending the arms out further and then performing that rotation. The side lunge can also be performed with a medicine ball variation. As you can see here, Tracy’s performing the side lunge while adding in a medicine ball curl to target the biceps. It’s important here with the side lunge to first remember to step out, not too far, before beginning the process of bringing the medicine ball in on the curl. Continue to keep the abdominals engaged, and press the hips back as you move into that side lunge. The last exercise Tracy will perform is the bent-knee crunch. Here, we’re using the added resistance of a medicine ball to further target the core. As you can see here, Tracy’s elbows are lifted up off the mat as she holds the medicine ball directly above her chest. We can further vary this exercise by having Tracy perform a medicine ball chest squeeze. And she can do this as she crunches up by gently applying pressure to the outside edges of the medicine ball. This isometric exercise will effectively target the chest. Thanks for joining us today. Be sure to leave us a comment here and let us know what you’d like to see on our next video.


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